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Bailey downtown group beginning to organize

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BAILEY — The town’s downtown development organization is taking shape.

“We want as diverse a membership as possible,” said Walter Wells, head of the organization’s steering committee, which was created a month ago.

Residents, nonresident business owners and individuals with special interests in downtown will be considered, Wells said. He reported on the revitalization effort’s progress Monday night during the Bailey Board of Commissioners’ regular monthly meeting.

The steering committee met for the first time last week. Members are now busy selecting a name, drafting bylaws and crafting a mission statement.

Possible names for the group bandied back and forth so far are the Downtown Bailey Association and Heart of Bailey.

The committee will select nominees for the organization board, with town commissioners slated to vote on the appointments. Once appointed, downtown committee members will serve staggered terms, Wells said.

The downtown organization will act as an advisory committee to the Bailey town board. Subcommittees will be set up for promoting the town and other objectives.

Wells said members of the committee will have to serve on one of the subcommittees. He said the downtown committee will be more than an honorific, and members will be expected to participate.

The N.C. Department of Commerce’s Main Street and Rural Planning Center is facilitating the organization’s establishment.

In other town business, commissioners discussed bids for masonry work and the purchase of fill dirt to finish work at the site of the old downtown Bailey Hardware and Appliance Store, which was recently demolished.

“Quotes run the spectrum of ‘Wow’ to ‘Hey, that’s not that bad,’” said Vince Sievert, the town’s zoning administrator and code enforcement officer. He said he didn’t want to give out specific figures because all the bids weren’t in yet.

Commissioners didn’t reach a decision on that topic, but did unanimously vote to purchase a new police vehicle.

“Thank you for the car; it’s much appreciated,” Police Chief Steve Boraski told the board.

The board voted to buy a 2020 V-6 Dodge Charger from Lee Dodge for $22,777, including $6,000 for upfiting of police lights and equipment.

Commissioner Allen Daniels didn’t like that Ford and Chevrolet no longer produce as many police vehicles as the car companies did in the past.

“I’ll vote for a Dodge because it’s the only choice left,” Daniels said.